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Williams Martini Racing: Mexican Grand Prix

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Mexican Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas finished eighth and Felipe Massa ninth in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Both cars managed to get a clean start on the supersoft tyre and tried to extend the first stint for as long as possible to make a one-stop strategy work, Valtteri pitted on lap 19 to replace his supersofts for medium tyres, and the strategy worked perfectly with the chasing Perez remaining behind him following his stop soon afterwards. Valtteri overtook Felipe on track, and drove a solid and consistent race to finish in eighth and collect four points.

Felipe made a strong start, going from ninth to sixth in the opening laps, and pitted for the medium tyre on lap 14. He ran in ninth for the majority of the race on the medium tyre, holding off a chasing Perez who had newer medium tyres and DRS for much of the race.

Valtteri set the fastest ever recorded race speed for the hybrid power unit era, clocking a speed of 372.5kph, just short of the overall record of 372.6kph set by Montoya back in 2005. 

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We went into the race with the plan of doing a one-stop, knowing that it would be close between that and a two-stop race depending on how long the medium tyre would last. We thought we were right on the limit when stopping with Felipe on lap 14, but in the end the degradation was very low, even negative. The medium tyres were getting better and better throughout the race and we even saw a couple of cars do 69-lap stints on them. Our strategy was the right one, the drivers both drove great races and the pitstops were really good. We had some new people on the pit crew this weekend and so it’s great to see us still performing some of the fastest race stops. We lost a point to Force India but it remains very open between us with two races remaining, so we will be doing our utmost to get that fourth place back in the championship. 

Valtteri Bottas: As a team we did a good job today, with a strategy and tactics that worked as good as we could have hoped. We managed to make the one-stop strategy work, which was helped by perfect timing with the pitstops. Unfortunately Force India still have a bit more pace than us and that is why one of them was ahead of us today. Our battle with them is very close and we just need to make sure that we do an even better job next time in Brazil.

Felipe Massa: It was a really difficult race. I was really happy with the first lap because I made a lot of overtakes and got up to sixth. I stopped to put on the medium tyres and suffered on the first 15 laps with those, the same as in practice. Then, lap-by-lap I picked up the grip and fought for the whole race with Perez. It was really difficult to keep in front, but I pushed to the end and I’m so happy with the result. Even if we lost one point, we will keep fighting them, and that’s what we’re going to do until the last race of the season. I’m really looking forward to my next race at home, just being there and being with the Brazilian people will be amazing. I always try to fly the flag of my country as high as I can. I love my country and will never forget how special that weekend will be. I’m trying to enjoy all these amazing races recently, but I’m sure Brazil will be the best. To the Mexican fans – gracias. Thank you very much for all your support and I will never forget this weekend. It’s amazing to see how much you love Formula One and motorsport. You will always be inside my heart.

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